A judge blocked a new Oklahoma law on Wednesday that would have prohibited women in the state from having medication-induced abortions to end unwanted early-term pregnancies. The law had been scheduled to go into effect on November 1, but state District Judge Dan Owens issued a temporary restraining order in a victory for abortion rights advocates.
Nova Health Systems, which operates a clinic in Tulsa, and the nonprofit Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice had filed a lawsuit to block the law. They will ask Owens to issue a permanent injunction to kill the law, said attorney Michelle Mohaved of the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing the plaintiffs. She said she was “thrilled” by the ruling.
The Oklahoma law’s sponsors have said that abortion-inducing drugs have led to the deaths of eight women in the United States. But Mohaved disputed that, saying the deaths were not caused by the medications. Opponents to the law said the legislature’s ideological opposition to abortion created an unconstitutional law that jeopardized women’s health.